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Mitchell Siporin: A Retrospective 



Rose Art Museum 
Brandeis University 
Waltham, Massachusetts 

11 May-30June 1976 



This catalogue was made possible through the 
generosity of the following persons: 

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Auerbach, 
Boston, Massachusetts 

Dr. and Mrs. Saul G. Cohen, 
Belmont, Massachusetts 

Mr. and Mrs. Max Dressier, 
Glencoe, Illinois 

Mrs. Charles Goldman, 
New York, New York 

Polaroid Foundation, Inc., 
Cambridge, Massachusetts 

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Rubenstein, 
Brockton, Massachusetts 



The organization of this exhibition was a large 
but deeply rewarding task. Many individuals and 
institutions have contributed to it, and I am 
grateful to all of them. I particularly wish to 
thank the museums and private collectors who 
have loaned works of art. Their participation has 
enabled us to mount the kind of comprehensive 
exhibition which the artist's many achievements 
deserve. I am also deeply grateful to Kathe 
Tuttman, who assisted at every stage of the 
project and who was primarily responsible for 
the research material contained in this catalogue. 
Neither the catalogue nor the exhibition could 
have been realized without her efforts. Finally, 
and above all, I am indebted to Mitchell Siporin: 
for his constant cooperation, for his willingness 
to aid in the assembling of works of art and 
documentary material, and for the many insights 
about art and culture he shared during visits 
to his home and studio. The experience of 
organizing and presenting this retrospective of 
his work has been invaluable in ways both per- 
sonal and professional. 



C.B. 



Mitchell Siporin 



"SIPORIIM (Mitchell), peintre, travaille au XXe 
siecle . . . il peint de complexes compositions, 
a personnages multiples, souvent inspirees 
des evenements contemporains, dans une 
maniere moderniste." 

E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des 
Peintres, Sculptures, Dessin- 
ateurs et Graveurs, 1949. 



In art, as elsewhere, the word modern refers 
generally to present or recent activities. Beyond 
that, controversy surrounds its meaning and 
clouds its parameters. The time of its begin- 
ning, the identity of its contents, its relationship 
to the past as well as to its own society, its 
style - these are all issues which bear on the 
question of modern art's distinguishing charac- 
teristics. However elusive and chameleonic 
those characteristics may be, they do not exist in 
a vacuum, nor are they mere abstractions. They 
issue from the expressive urges of the men and 
women who together make the art of our time, 
and they reside within the objects which are the 
result of a cumulative creative process. As such, 
they constitute generalizations; nevertheless, 
they inevitably spring from individual artists and 
individual works - which is where any under- 
standing of the term modern art must ultimately 
begin and end. 

It is one of the purposes of a retrospective 
exhibition to reveal through a selection of indi- 
vidual works of art the scope of an individual 
artist's vision. His vision is by definition personal, 
though it naturally relates to the visions of other 
artists both past and present. On the personal 
level, the retrospective makes accessible the 
shape of an artist's imagination, its range, and 
the contours of its growth. That growth generally 
expresses itself in terms of what we call stylistic 
change, and it is in these terms that the artist's 
position within the broader constructs of the 
history of art becomes apparent. In every case, 
the latter develops out of the former, which is an 



important fact to keep in mind, particularly in 
studying the modern period, where the reverse 
sometimes appears to be true. With a parade of 
20th century movements before us, we might 
occasionally think that an artist works with an 
"ism" in mind, or that a retrospective is staged 
to corroborate one of the generalizations we 
already have in hand. If anything, the retro- 
spective ought to disrupt our generalizations, 
perhaps even forcing us to reshape them. After 
all, in addressing ourselves to a retrospective, 
we assess not only the personality and position 
of an individual, but our own personalities and 
positions as well. Confrontation with the works 
of an artist of our time thus informs us of what 
we mean, or do not mean, when we use the term 
modern. 

The retrospective, of course, is not meant to be 
only revelatory or didactic. Its purpose is also 
honorific, meant to acknowledge a full career 
after it has reached maturity and its achievement 
is, in some sense, a matter of record. It is a 
relatively recent art world phenomenon, having 
come into being only during the last century. 
Yet, it is distinctly modern: first, because of the 
nature of its content - that is, the work of an 
individual whose status is independent of the 
sanctions and patronage of either church or 
state; and second, because of its almost 
inevitable link to a museum - that is, an institu- 
tion whose purpose, more than less, is to serve 
the public by stimulating an awareness of art's 
history. To be sure, artists were honored before 
the modern period, but their honors came from 
popes or kings or enlightened members of the 
ruling class. It was not the job of the general 
public - or even a fraction of that public, which 
is what the modern art audience finally amounts 
to - either to bestow those honors or to judge 
their Tightness. To the pope or king, the artist 
may alternately have been an inspired genius 
or a mere craftsman, but in no operative sense 
was he a peer of the public. Likewise, while an 
awareness of art's history existed in a variety of 



pre-modern societies, that awareness did not 
become structured into the discipline of art 
history until the 19th century. 

These shifts of circumstance bear seriously on 
the ways we presently honor the artist, as well 
as on the meaning of the honors themselves. 
In the case of a retrospective, the exhibition 
itself constitutes an honor bestowed by an 
institution. At the same time, it is offered to 
the public, and not only for enlightenment and 
delectation, but, in effect, for judgment as well. 
Thus, the public grants or refuses recognition. 
But the public's identity is essentially anonymous, 
which means that its judgments of success or 
failure fall only on the shoulders of the individual 
creator. Responsibility for the work done is his 
and only his. The situation is frightfully demand- 
ing, but it nevertheless focuses what we have 
come to accept as the essence of the modern 
experience - namely, that each of us ultimately 
faces the world alone. For the artist, this con- 
dition is not just an effect of his job of work; 
rather, it is its definition. 



Mitchell Siporin presents us with a concept of 
modern art that is panoramic in scope and open- 
ended in its identity. It is predicated on the 
notion of the artist's independence, though it 
repeatedly acknowledges his ancestry, his pro- 
fessional responsibility, and his membership in 
society. His role may be that of gadfly, critic, 
sage or entertainer, and his stance may be pas- 
sionately involved or amusedly skeptical. Always, 
however, his identity is as complex as it is 
elusive, the turns of his imagination depending 
on time and place as well as personal inclina- 
tion. With respect to both art and artist, the 
concept of the modern is that of expansiveness 
as opposed to reduction, the richness of a fabric 
- however involved - as opposed to the simplicity 
of a single thread - however pure. 



Siporin's own art began in earnest during the 
early 1930's when, at the age of 24, he did his 
"Haymarket Series" - 25 drawings depicting 
the artist's impressions of the notorious and 
tragic events which began at a labor protest 
meeting in Chicago's Haymarket Square and 
ended with the execution of four anarchists 
injudiciously charged with the murder of seven 
Chicago policemen. The incidents took place in 
1886, the climax of labor's struggle for the eight- 
hour day, and public monuments kept their 
memory alive, particularly for those who, like 
the artist, grew up with an awareness of the 
Labor Movement and its history. 

Siporin's father was a union organizer, and his 
mother was a painter in her own right. The 
family had lived in Chicago since 1911, and in 
many ways the "Haymarket Series" established 
the direction of Siporin's art not only through the 
1930's but into his maturity as well. In part, that 
direction is characterized by a consciousness of 
the past and an insistence that the past is con- 
stantly relevant to the present. In the Haymarket 
drawings, Siporin's subject matter and content 
are overtly political, expressing compassion for 
human suffering and outrage at the injustices 
human beings inflict upon one another. For the 
murals executed in 1942 in the St. Louis Post 
Office, however - a commission which the artist 
won in collaboration with Edward Millman, and 
which, to that date, was the largest ever awarded 
by the Federal Government - a more distin- 
guished historical subject was chosen. The nine 
frescoes, each measuring nine by twenty-nine 
feet and covering a total of three thousand square 
feet of wall space, highlight the first one hun- 
dred years of St. Louis history through a stern, 
yet robust and celebratory depiction of early 
settlers, fur traders and such legendary charac- 
ters as Daniel Boone and John Brown. A third 
type of history, or historical awareness, provided 
the inspiration for such pictures as End of an 
Era (1946), Endless Voyage (1946) and Winter 
Soldiers ( 1946). Whether real - the artist's 
experiences during World War II and his personal 
witnessing of the hanging of Mussolini - or 
imaginary - his vision of the continuous migra- 



tions of the Jews - the subjects here constitute 
current history, the lived events which have 
shaped and continue to shape our parents, our- 
selves and our children. 

Siporin's consciousness of history, his sense of 
its immediacy, and his acceptance of its con- 
tinuity into the present result in a point of view 
that is rooted in the late 18th century when, it is 
often argued, one of the chief characteristics of 
the modern sensibility first took shape. I am 
referring to the concept of art's political content, 
to the idea that modern art is in and of the 
world, committed to it in ways which do not 
accurately describe the situations of earlier 
artists. The commitment itself may be direct 
or indirect, actively involved or consciously dis- 
tanced, but in no case is it either neutral or 
unproblematic. It is as though the modern artist 
cannot afford not to declare his position or, at 
least, he cannot avoid questioning his relation- 
ship to his world in the first place. In the pre- 
modern situation, the artist, like any man, could 
take the existence of his world for granted; 
moreover, his relation to it was usually structured 
by church or state. The modern artist, however, 
must discover and structure the world for him- 
self, which means he must be active from the 
beginning. In creating his structures, he has 
little to go on - except what he personally 
uncovers in the records of other men's actions, 
which is to say history. 

As I said, the political content of modern art 
has its roots in the late 18th century. Goya and 
David were the seminal figures in shaping that 
content, and their 19th century descendants 
include Daumier and Courbet, among others. 
In the 20th century, one looks to the German 
Expressionists as the major European bearers of 
the tradition, while American painters ranging 
from the Ashcan School to the Social Realists 
became additionally significant contributors to 
it. Generally, and especially with respect to its 
American participants, it is a tradition which has 
been rather overlooked in critical and historical 
studies, at least until recently. Its relative 
neglect in part reflects the patterns of our taste 



and in part the fact that much European and 
American painting since the middle of the 19th 
century has devoted its energies to formal issues, 
thereby inspiring a lot of positivist-oriented criti- 
cal study. That the best of that art is anti- 
positivist in content, and that it is ultimately as 
"political" as the work I have been discussing, 
are facts about it which will eventually become 
clear, although this is not the appropriate context 
in which to establish them. At the moment, my 
purpose has been to describe how the kind of 
political content exhibited in the works of Mitchell 
Siporin is fundamental to any comprehensive 
understanding of modern art. 

While political in the sense I have tried to de- 
scribe, modern art is just as conscious of itself 
and of its past as it is of the society around it 
and of history in general. "Art comes from art," 
is the way the saying goes, and, though this is 
probably true for the art of any period, it is true 
with a vengeance in the case of the modern. 
The art of our time has occasionally been so 
self-generating, in fact, that its meaning has 
become inaccessible to those who are not familiar 
with its lineage. When that happens, the charge 
of elitism is usually leveled - though inappropri- 
ately, since the charge is at best descriptive of 
art's situation, not its intent. The fact that much 
of our art is self-referential is simply a function 
of the artist's necessary awareness of the past, 
and its so-called obscurity is but a reflection of 
the artist's independent status and the utterly 
personal nature of his work. Elitism thus resides 
in the eye of the beholder who is unwilling, or 
unable, to acknowledge certain fundamental 
aspects of the modern condition. 

A consciousness of art's past pervades Mitchell 
Siporin's work and operates on a variety of 
levels. Generally, its most distinguishing char- 
acteristic is its breadth. Siporin is not an artist 
for whom art history consists only of last season's 
events in the galleries and museums of New 
York or Paris, nor does he subscribe to the 



decade-by-decade view of it that has become 
popular in America since World War II. The 
history of art, rather, is a complex and continu- 
ous phenomenon which, for the artist, stretches 
as far as his curiosity will allow and as wide as 
his imagination can embrace. It includes the 
modern period but is not restricted to it. Thus, 
the series called "Monet in His Garden" 
(1959-60) takes inspiration from the great 
master of Impressionism, while the images in 
"Rembrandt and His Models" (1961-62) pay 
homage to a genius of the 17th century. 

With Siporin, moreover, each inspiration from 
the past necessitates a distinctive treatment and 
emphasis in the present. Whether dealing with 
Monet or Rembrandt, his own hand is invariably 
present - during the period in question, it is 
characterized by an overall proliferation of small, 
prism-like pictorial units - yet he never forces 
his subject to bend entirely to his personal will. 
He sees Monet as being fused with his surround- 
ing landscape, thereby emphasizing the artist's 
almost mystical relationship to the visible world. 
In the Rembrandt pictures, by comparison, 
Siporin concentrates on the human figure, es- 
pecially gesture and physiognomy, thus directing 
our attention to the realms of psychological 
insight that mark the Baroque master's achieve- 
ment. 

A third series, called "Imaginary Interviews" 
(1956-58), is also important in illuminating 
Siporin's attitude toward past art, as well as for 
revealing his view of its place within the broader 
picture of modern culture. The "Interviews" 
bring together a diversity of characters: William 
Blake and Toulouse-Lautrec engage in a discus- 
sion of sin in Songs of Innocence and Experience; 
Jack Levine and Al Capone meet in Gangster's 
Funeral; Lorenzo da Ponte and Mozart join in a 
duet in Serenade from Don Giovanni; Franz 
Kafka, his fiancee Dora Dymant, and the rabbi 
who forbade their marriage confront one another 
silently in The Denial; and Ambroise Vollard and 
Edith Halpert share thoughts on aesthetics and 
the art market in Picture Dealers. Like much of 
Siporin's art since about 1950, including the 



Monet and Rembrandt series, the "Imaginary 
Interviews" are tinged with lively wit and delicate 
satire. Most significantly, however, they together 
establish a point about art which Siporin is 
relentless in pursuing - namely, that no work 
of art of any kind is ever created in a vacuum. 
By the same token, no work of art can be fully 
understood in isolation from its cultural context. 
Painters, poets, composers, novelists, commer- 
cial dealers, even gangsters - of the past as 
well as the present - all contribute to the cul- 
tural atmosphere of a particular time and place, 
all inform the creative act and our compre- 
hension of it. Feelings of being compelled to 
specialize - in one medium, one style, one 
period, or one artist - may have numbed our 
sensitivity to this message, but it is one which 
Siporin himself refuses to let go, from either his 
life or his art. 

The refusal to specialize - other than in the 
business of being everything he believes an artist 
ought to be - is reflected in the style of Siporin's 
art as well as in his subject matter. Regarding the 
latter, I have already mentioned works dealing 
with protest, history, war, art and culture gen- 
erally. That list must be expanded to include 
a panoply of individual subjects related to both 
ordinary and unusual personal experiences and 
ranging from his participation in the academic 
world - he has taught at Brandeis University 
for twenty-five years - to his journeys outside the 
United States - he has twice visited Mexico for 
extended periods, he has twice been a resident 
at the American Academy in Rome, and his 
travels have also included South America, Africa, 
England, France and Spain. The result is a large 
and rich world, but it is, or can be, as much ours 
as it is the artist's. 

Though thought of in some circles as a Social 
Realist, Siporin's range of stylistic expression far 
exceeds the confines of that label. Surely, certain 
works from the '30's and '40's can be grouped 



under the banner of Social Realism - for in- 
stance, first in Homeless, Charity and the early 
drawings, and later in End of an Era and Endless 
Voyage, among others - but even here the cate- 
gory lacks precision. To my eye, such paintings 
are more expressionistic than anything: figures 
are twisted out of shape, their heads and limbs 
are given exaggerated proportions, and the 
spaces they occupy are warped into nightmarish 
configurations. The subjects may be societal, 
but their presentation is only nominally realistic. 
Less real than surreal, Siporin's world in these 
examples is intensely somber, sometimes even 
frightening. He employs caricature to achieve 
the effect of morbidity rather than amusement. 

Elements of Expressionism and Surrealism can be 
traced in a number of Siporin's paintings, draw- 
ings and watercolors, while his tendency toward 
caricature marks an additionally recurrent aspect 
of his overall stylistic outlook. Since the early 
1950's, he has increasingly used caricature to 
express a witty or satirical point of view, as can 
be seen in the Monet and Rembrandt series, as 
well as in such individual works as Academic 
Festival, Busy Day in the Atelier, and, from the 
Porta Portese series, Panorama and Hassid 
Washing His Feet in the Roman Fountain. 
As persistent as this tendency has been, how- 
ever, it by no means accounts for the entire 
stylistic spectrum of Siporin's art. Harbor City, 
for example, is almost totally abstract, while 
Rendezvous is ultimately derived from Synthetic 
Cubism; the prism-like units of the Monet or 
Rembrandt series acknowledge the watercolors 
of Cezanne, and the monumental figure style of 
the public frescoes recalls the great Mexican 
muralists, Rivera and Orozco. WhatSiporin offers 
us in terms of style, in other words, is nothing 
less than the richness and variety that are 
synonymous with the modern period in general. 



If the foregoing suggests that Siporin is but an 
eclectic reflection of a cross-section of 20th 
century styles, it is an impression I would like to 
dispel. The development of his art is as coherent 
when viewed from within as it is encyclopedic 
when viewed from without. It stretches in time 
from the 1930's to the present day, and it holds 
together in its steady revelation of the artist's 
growth as a painterly painter. For, while he has 
painted from the beginning, Siporin has gradu- 
ally adjusted the emphasis he gives to color as 
well as the uses he makes of it to achieve light 
in his pictures. Though he has never ceased 
to draw, in other words, the sculptural drawing 
which marks his earliest achievements has, over 
the years, been more and more confined to his 
pen and watercolor expressions rather than his 
paintings, which, in turn, have become decidedly 
looser and more pictorial. 

Specific aspects of the development described 
above can be traced back to the earliest works 
in this exhibition, that is, the Haymarket draw- 
ings. The figures here are characterized by 
crisp, almost biting contours and dramatic light- 
to-dark internal modeling. Though twisted and 
attenuated, they are fully volumetric, sculpture- 
like entities that have been etched out of their 
surrounding spaces by a tou r de force of 
exacting, linear, cross-hatched drawing. Inter- 
estingly, albeit surprisingly, the technique has 
periodically informed Siporin's paintings as well 
- not so much during the 1930's, but during the 
late 1940's. It is especially noticeable in Ghost 
Harbor, an eerie scene of marine wreckage in the 
harbor of Livorno during World War II. In it, a 
cluster of partially destroyed ships protrude like 
desolate cathedral spires from an agitated sea 
that is rendered with the same staccato markings 
typical of the Haymarket drawings done more 
than a decade earlier. 

The monumental figure style and the brooding 
atmosphere of the Haymarket pictures also 
dominate the public murals which Siporin 
executed alone and in collaboration between 
1939 and 1942. Of the four commissions he 
won during this period, the St. Louis murals 



are probably the best known. Typical of the 
artist's respect for professional tradition and 
technique, they were done in true fresco, in the 
Italian Renaissance manner revived by the great 
Mexican muralists and the United States painters 
on government mural projects. It was in Giotto, 
Masaccio and Piero della Francesca that the 
artists of the thirties found the architectural 
medium for public art. Typical of the medium, 
then, the luminosity of Siporin's frescoes 
emanates from within, the result of applying 
earthy colors to the white ground of a freshly 
plastered wall. While the scale of these murals 
cannot be appreciated outside their permanent 
architectural setting, we are fortunate in having 
in the current exhibition three small paintings - 
executed in egg tempera on gessoed wood panels 
- which were intended to simulate the effects of 
surface, color and light in the originals. In addi- 
tion, they clearly define the artist's continued 
emphasis upon powerful sculptural modeling 
during this period of his career. 

The mural commissions resulted in a lasting 
impact on Siporin's development as a painter - 
an impact, it should be noted, which contained 
liabilities as well as assets. For instance, the 
somber palette and sculptural drawing of the 
frescoes very probably served to retard the 
artist's investigation of what are felt to be two of 
the intrinsic properties of modern painting, that 
is, expressive color and brushwork. At the same 
time, the delicate translucencies of fresco help 
to account for the quality of light in all of 
Siporin's paintings and for his long involvement 
with watercolor, a medium in which he continues 
to work with masterful precision. 

In any case, an important change in Siporin's 
relation to these artistic issues can be seen in 
the paintings completed between 1947 and 
1954. In End of an Era, Endless Voyage and 
Winter Soldiers, for instance, the drawing 
remains relatively crisp, color is subdued, and 
surface handling is kept to a minimum, more a 
means to an end than an end in itself. However, 



Joy Ride, Twilight on Upper Broadway, Moonlight 
Over Myrtle and Dancers By the Clock, which 
were begun just two years later, reveal some 
undeniable stylistic adjustments. In the first 
place, the elongated and expressionistic figures 
of the earlier pictures have given way to rotund, 
pneumatic creatures whose caricature-like fea- 
tures create an atmosphere that is at once touch- 
ing and whimsical. Each composition contains a 
cluster of figures, but they are spiritually isolated 
from one another, even alienated. A second dif- 
ference has to do with color: essentially, it is 
brighter, which means it is allowed to exude its 
own luminosity - very much like fresco - rather 
than having to act only as highlighting upon a 
darkened field. And finally, the paintings are 
executed with an array of short, flickering brush- 
strokes that are decidedly more lively and 
spontaneous than the comparatively neutral and 
functional markings in End of an Era, Endless 
Voyage and Winter Soldiers. 

The tendencies evident in the newer paintings 
continue into the work of the early fifties. To 
me, the most significant of them have to do 
with brushstroke and color, for they constitute 
the painterly foundation Siporin has built upon 
in many of his subsequent efforts. What is 
fascinating, moreover, is that both tendencies are 
rooted in late Impressionism, a style the artist 
was familiar with since his student days - he 
daily saw Seurat's La Grande Jatte while attend- 
ing the Chicago Art Institute - even though it 
did not begin to bear real fruit until he was in 
his late thirties. That those early lessons took 
a relatively long time to become operative was 
due, I think, to two factors: first, the murals, 
paintings which occupied the artist for more than 
three years, and which, in terms of their formal- 
ity, tradition, public and rhetorical nature -the 
latter a quality which persisted in Siporin's art 
until well into the 1940's - did not encourage 
the type of experimentation for which modern 
easel painting has become so naturally suited; 
and second, the war, meaning for Siporin a set 



of personal experiences, surreal and expression- 
istic in themselves, which had to be dealt with 
before a more self-indulgent exploration of the 
medium per se could be undertaken. I do not 
mean that such an exploration had been Siporin's 
sole concern since the early 1950's, for, as the 
Rembrandt, Monet and Imaginary Interviews 
series attest, it clearly had not. Unlike the 
watercolors, however, Siporin's paintings have 
been less series-oriented, and it is in them that 
the painterly development I'm talking about can 
be traced. 

The period which produced Joy Ride and related 
pictures such as Fesfa in Trastevere (1950) also 
witnessed the emergence of another painterly 
concern on Siporin's part. Landscape With Lime 
Kiln (1949) and Rendezvous (1954), for instance, 
both contain recognizable subject matter, 
although both tend to suppress figurative volume 
in favor of spreading, two-dimensional planes of 
color. The source of such pictorial units lies, as 
I noted earlier, in Synthetic Cubism, but their 
importance lies not so much in the historical 
pedigree they establish as in the pictorial 
emphasis they announce. For, while Synthetic 
Cubism was originally a tactile kind of painting 
characterized by hard-edged planes of opaque 
color, it becomes in Siporin's hands more airy 
and painterly. Thus, the years between 1948 and 
the mid-1950's show the artist struggling with 
his own background - his draughtsmanship and 
his work as a muralist- in order to establish his 
territory within the painterly tradition. That the 
struggle was complex and challenging goes with- 
out saying; that it was artistically successful, at 
the same time, is one of the points this show 
hopes to document. 

In between his recurrent involvement with water- 
color -an involvement which most recently 
produced a series of lighthearted but incisive 
views of cultural life in today's Mexico, such as 
Assault on the Presidential Palace and Abduction 
of the Yanqui Consul - Siporin has continued to 
pursue the painterly issues he first personalized 
more than twenty years ago. A seminal picture in 



the continuing pursuit is Death and the Maiden 
(1962), particularly in terms of its gestural 
surface. The latter marks one of the artist's most 
persistent concerns throughout the past decade, 
and in the 1970's alone it has blossomed into 
some of his richest and most colorful expres- 
sions. Among these, Boy in Garden and Closing 
Time at the Prado deserve special attention, as 
does a series of variations on landscape themes, 
some of which were only completed during the 
past six months. They are not conventional 
landscapes; in fact, they are among the artist's 
most abstract compositions, meaning not only 
that their inspiration springs largely from art, but 
that their content is directed at it. The loose 
handling of color that contains light constitutes 
one of the most important facets of these paint- 
ings whose meanings inform us of yet another 
way in which Siporin's achievements embody, 
and at the same time acknowledge, the full 
complement of modern possibilities. 



Thus far, I have purposely avoided mention of 
Siporin's 1958 watercolor, Homage to Pissarro. 
In style and subject matter, the group portrait 
relates to many of the issues I have already dis- 
cussed - the artist's consciousness of history and 
his interest in Impressionism, for instance - 
though it also stands, for me anyway, as a 
symbol of still another important aspect of 
Siporin's career. I am referring to his teaching, 
not only in the classroom, but outside it as well. 
For, while Pissarro was not an academician, he 
was nevertheless a teacher - to the many artists, 
many of whom were younger than he, to whom 
he gave advice and encouragement during his 
long and productive career. He was in many 
ways the "father-figure" of the Impressionists, 
the most constant participant in the movement 
and the outstanding spokesman of its aims. 



Within the classroom, Siporin has been teaching 
here at Brandeis University since 1951, the year 
he founded the Department of Fine Arts. His 
contribution to the fine arts, however, has never 
been limited to the classroom alone. Before the 
Rose Art Museum even existed, he brought exhi- 
bitions of modern art to the campus, and he 
helped to organize the permanent collection at a 
time when it had no permanent home. He was 
instrumental in organizing the Brandeis Creative 
Arts Awards Commission, and he chaired their 
painting juries for more than ten years. Finally, 
he has served as a principal advisor for the 
Saltzman Visiting Artist Program which has 
brought to Brandeis such distinguished artists 
as Elaine de Kooning, Theodore Stamos, Philip 
Guston, Leon Polk Smith, Anthony Toney, Frank 
Stella, Stephen Greene, Jacob Lawrence and 
Carl Holty. 

These efforts are undeniably diverse, and they 
have naturally played an enormous role in 
shaping the cultural and educational life of the 
University. As contributions, they stand apart, 
but their meaning should not be isolated - for 
they ultimately constitute a fabric of activity that 
is just as rich, just as mindful of history, and just 
as conscious of aesthetic, social and professional 
values, as the artist's more personal expressions 
in paint, pen, print or watercolor. 

Carl Belz 



Plates 




10 

Babes in Toyland, from the "Haymarket 

Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23 ! /2 x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 




After the Civil War, Building the 
Railroads, Pony Express and Portraits, 
(Caleb Bingham, James Rollins, Mark 
Twain, Joseph Pulitzer, Carl Schurz), 
U.S. Post Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 
1940-42 
fresco mural 
108x348" 




21 

Homeless, 1939 
oil on canvas 
30 x 36" 
Collection of the Artist 




29 

End of an Era, 1946 

oil on canvas 

40 x 52" 

Collection of Dr. Robert Atkins, 

New York, New York 




30 

Endless Voyage, 1946 

oil on canvas 

34% x 39%" 

Lent by the University of Iowa, 

Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa 




31 

Winter Soldiers, 1946 
oil on canvas 
36 x 40" 
Collection of the Artist 




39 

Joy Ride, 1948 

oil on canvas 

60 x 40" 

Collection of the Artist 




47 

Dancers by the Clock, 1949 

oil on canvas 

40V2 x 60%" 

Lent by the Whitney Museum of 

American Art, New York, New York 




73 

Picture Dealers, from the series, 
"Imaginary Interviews," 1957 
watercolor 
22% x 30" 

Collection of Mr. Louis R. Glaser, 
Providence, Rhode Island 




89 

Venus and Mars, from the series, 
"Rembrandt and His Models," 1961-62 
watercolor 
38% x 25V2" 
Collection of the Artist 




106 

Blue Landscape, 1972 
oil on canvas 
40 x 60" 

Collection of the Artist 




107 

Boy in Garden, 1972-73 

oil on canvas 

40 x 60" 

Collection of the Artist 




110 

Death of the Sun - Palacio de Belles 

Artes, 1974 

watercolor 

22% x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 



AV. !n^~" 




118 

Closing Time at the Prado, 1975 

oil on canvas 

45x31" 

Collection of the Artist 



Chronology 



1910 

Born 5 May, New York, New York, to 
Chaim and Genya (Dressier). 

1911 

Family moved to Chicago, Illinois. 

1928-1932 

Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, 
at Crane College, Chicago, and with 
the painter Todros Geller. 

1931-1932 

Worked as free-lance illustrator for 
Esquire, New Masses and Ringmaster 
magazines. 

1934-1935 

Haymarket drawings Series. 

1938 

Commissioned to paint a series of 
tempera panels for the Bloom Township 
High School, Chicago Heights, Illinois, 
on the subject of "Steel." 

1939 

First trip to Mexico. 

Commissioned to paint frescoes for 
the foyer of the Lane Technical High 
School Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois, 
dealing with "The Teaching of the 
Arts." 

1940 

Won regional competition and com- 
mission from the Section of Fine Arts 
of the Public Buildings Administration 
to paint frescoes dealing with the history 
of Central Illinois in the Post Office at 
Decatur, Illinois, in collaboration with 
Edward Millman and Edgar Britton. 

Won national competition and com- 
mission to paint seventeen frescoes 
dealing with the history of Missouri in 
the Post Office Building, St. Louis, 
Missouri, in collaboration with Edward 
Millman. This two-year job, at a cost 
of $29,000, was the largest single 
commission made by the Section of 
Fine Arts of the Public Buildings 
Administration. 

First one man show, Downtown Gallery, 
New York, New York. 



1941 

Awarded the Bertha Aberle Florsheim 
Prize for Painting, "44th American 
Exhibition," the Art Institute of Chicago, 
Chicago, Illinois. 

1942 

Exhibited in "Americans 1942: 18 Artists 
from 9 States," at the Museum of 
Modern Art, New York, New York. The 
exhibition was selected by Dorothy Miller 
and also included Hyman Bloom, 
Morris Graves, Rico Lebrun and Jack 
Levine, among others. 

1942-1945 

Served in North Africa with the Army 
Art Corps and in Italy with the United 
States Fifth Army. 

1945 

Awarded John Simon Guggenheim 
Memorial Foundation Fellowship for 
Painting; renewed for 1946. 

Married Miriam Tane, 11 November. 

1946 

Awarded Joseph Pennell Medal for 
Drawing by the Pennsylvania Academy 
of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

1947 

Awarded Frank G. Logan Medal and 
First Prize for Painting, "50th Ameri- 
can Exhibition," the Art Institute of 
Chicago, Chicago, Illinois. 

Received First Prize and Purchase 
Award, "Annual of American Painting," 
University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. 

1948 

Headed the Painting Department, 
Boston Museum of Fine Arts Summer 
School, Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 

1949 

Awarded a Prix de Rome Fellowship 
for Painting, American Academy in 
Rome. 

Lived and worked in Rome, travelled 
throughout Italy, France, Holland, 
Belgium and Great Britain. 

Awarded Second Prize for American 
Painting, "Hallmark Art Awards," 
Hallmark International Competition, 
Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York. 



1950-1951 

Taught drawing at Columbia 
University, New York, New York. 

1951 

Founded Department of Fine Arts, 
Brandeis University, Waltham, 
Massachusetts; served as Chairman 
of the Department through 1963; served 
as first Curator of the Brandeis 
University Art Collection. 

Birth of daughter Judith. 

1953 

Birth of daughter Rachel. 

1954 

Received Second Prize for Painting, 
Boston Arts Festival, Boston, 
Massachusetts. 

1955 

Received National Institute of Arts and 
Letters Award. 

Received Third Prize for Painting, 
Boston Arts Festival, Boston, 
Massachusetts. 

1956-1958 

Imaginary Interviews Series. 

1959-1960 

Monet in His Garden Series. 

1960 

Received First Prize for Watercolor, 
"United States National Exhibition," 
Butler Art Institute, Youngstown, Ohio. 

1961-1962 

Rembrandt and his Models Series. 

1966-1967 

Awarded Senior Fulbright Fellowship 
to work in Italy, and appointed Artist 
in Residence at the American Academy 
in Rome. 

1973-1974 

Second trip to Mexico. 

1974 

Travelled in England, Scotland and 
Spain. 

1976 

"Mitchell Siporin: A Retrospective," 
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 
Waltham, Massachusetts. 



Group Exhibitions 



1933 

"Century of Progress," World's Fair, 
Chicago, Illinois 

1936 

"New Horizons in American Art," 
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 
New York 

1939 

World's Fair, New York, New York 

1940 

World's Fair, San Francisco, California 

1941 

"Pintura Contemporanea Norteameri- 
cana," organized by the Museum of 
Modern Art, New York, New York and 
the United States State Department; 
traveled through Mexico and South 
America 

1942 

"Americans 1942," Museum of Modern 
Art, New York, New York 

"American Life," Springfield Museum 
of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"45th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1943 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"46th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1944 

"Artists at War," National Traveling 
Exhibition organized by the United 
States War and Treasury Departments 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"47th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago,. Illinois 

"Annual Carnegie Institute Exhibition," 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 



1945 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"48th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

"Annual Carnegie Institute Exhibition," 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 

1946 

"Exposition Internationale D'Arte 
Moderne," Musee D'Arte Moderne, 
Paris, France 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"49th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

"Annual Carnegie Institute Exhibition," 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 

1947 

"Modern Drawings," Museum of Modern 
Art, New York, New York 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"50th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

"Annual Carnegie Institute Exhibition," 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 

1948 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"51st American Exhibition," Art Institute 
of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

"Annual Carnegie Institute Exhibition," 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 



1949 

"American Painting in Our Century," 
organized by the Institute of 
Contemporary Art, Boston, 
Massachusetts; traveled through 
Cleveland, Montreal, Los Angeles, 
San Francisco 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"52nd American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

"Annual Carnegie Institute Exhibition," 
Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania 

1950 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"53rd American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1951 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"54th American Exhibition," Art Institute 
of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1952 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"55th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1953 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"56th American Exhibition," Art 
Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1954 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"57th American Exhibition," Art Institute 
of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 



1955 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"58th American Exhibition," Art Institute 
of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1956 

"Dessins Americains Contemporains," 
organized by the United States State 
Department; traveled through France 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

"59th American Exhibition," Chicago 
Art Institute, Chicago, Illinois 

1957 

"Annual Exhibition of Contemporary 
American Painting," Whitney Museum 
of American Art, New York, New York 

1960 

"Art U.S.A. Now," Five Year World Tour 
of the S. C. Johnson Collection of 
Contemporary American Art, 
sponsored by the United States State 
Department 

1961 

"Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition," Brandeis 
University, Waltham, Massachusetts 



One Man Exhibitions 1940 

Downtown Gallery, New York, New York 

1942 

Museum of Modern Art, New York, 

New York 

Downtown Gallery, New York, New York 

1943 

Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, 
Springfield, Massachusetts 

1946 

Downtown Gallery, New York, New York 

1947 

Downtown Gallery, New York, New York 
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 

1949 

Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, 
Pennsylvania 

1952 

Boris Mirski Gallery, Boston, 
Massachusetts 

1953 

Jewish Community Center, Cleveland, 
Ohio 

1954 

Alan Gallery, New York, New York 

1955 

DeCordova and Dana Museum, Lincoln, 
Massachusetts 

1956 

University of Vermont, Burlington, 
Vermont 

1957 

Downtown Gallery, New York, New York 

1960 

Park Gallery, Detroit, Michigan 
Nordness Gallery, New York, New York 

1962 

Nordness Gallery, New York, New York 

1964 

Nordness Gallery, New York, New York 

1970 

Gropper Art Gallery, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts 

1976 

Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 
Waltham, Massachusetts 



Public Collections 



Addison Gallery of American Art, 
Phillips Academy, Andover, 
Massachusetts 

Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 

Auburn, Alabama 

Art Institute of Chicago, 

Chicago, Illinois 

Brockton Art Center, 
Fuller Memorial, 

Brockton, Massachusetts 

Butler Institute of American Art, 

Youngstown, Ohio 

Cranbrook Academy of Art, 

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan 

Encyclopedia Britannica, 

Chicago, Illinois 

Fogg Art Museum, 

Harvard University, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts 

Hirshhorn Museum and 
Sculpture Garden, 

Washington, District of Columbia 



International Business Machines, 

New York, New York 

S. C. Johnson Collection of 
Contemporary American Art, 

Racine, Wisconsin 

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 

New York, New York 

Museum of Modern Art, 

New York, New York 

National Collection of Fine Arts, 

Washington, District of Columbia 

Newark Museum, 

Newark, New Jersey 

New York Public Library, 

New York, New York 

Philadelphia Museum of Art, 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

Rose Art Museum, 

Brandeis University, Waltham, 
Massachusetts 

St. Louis Art Museum, 

St. Louis, Missouri 



Smith College Museum of Art, 

Northampton, Massachusetts 

University of Arizona, 

Tucson, Arizona 

University of Georgia, 

Athens, Georgia 

University of Illinois, 

Urbana, Illinois 

University of Iowa, 

Iowa City, Iowa 

University of Nebraska, 

Lincoln, Nebraska 

University of New Mexico, 

Albuquerque, New Mexico 

University of Oklahoma, 

Norman, Oklahoma 

Whitney Museum of American Art, 

New York, New York 

Wichita Art Museum, 

Wichita, Kansas 



Selected Articles 
and Critiques 

(Listed Chronologically) 



"Large Commission, St. Louis Mural 
Commission Awarded to Edward 
Millman and Mitchell Siporin." Maga- 
zine of Art. (October, 1939), 594-5. 

"Millman and Siporin Win $29,000 
Federal Competition for St. Louis." 
Art Digest. (October 1, 1939), 12. 

McCausland, E. "Exhibition at Down- 
town Gallery." Parnassus. (January, 
1940), 30. 

"Exhibition at Downtown Gallery." Art 
News. (January 6, 1940), 11. 

"Mexican Rice Workers, Gouache." 
Smith College Museum of Art Bulletin. 
(June, 1940), 21. 

"Mitchell Siporin Awarded Bertha Aberle 
Florsheim Prize of $100." Chicago 
Art Institute News Release. (October 
29, 1941), 49. 



"Frescoes for St. Louis Post Office." 
Art News. (October 15, 1942), 27. 

"History of Missouri, Millman's and 
Siporin's Murals for the St. Louis Post 
Office." Pictures. (October, 1942), 
8-9. 

"Millman and Siporin Recount Missouri 
History in St. Louis Murals." Art 
Digest. (October 15, 1942), 12. 

"Missouri: New Murals by E. Millman 
and M. Siporin in the Post Office in 
St. Louis." Life. (October 12, 1942), 6. 

"Exhibition at Downtown Gallery." Art 
News. (October, 1947), 27. 

"Exhibition at Downtown Gallery." Art 
Digest. (November, 1947), 19. 

"Siporin's Oils, Caseins, Drawings to be 
Shown." Philadelphia Art Alliance 
Bulletin. (October, 1949), 8. 



"Carleton College Gets First Contempo- 
rary Work: Night Piece." Art Digest. 
(January 1, 1952), 10. 

"Exhibition of Paintings at Alan Gallery.' 
Art Digest. (December 1, 1954), 30. 

"Exhibition of Paintings at Alan Gallery.' 
Art News. (December, 1954), 52. 

"Exhibition at Downtown." Art News. 
(October, 1957), 18. 

"Imaginary Interviews: Exhibition at 
Downtown Galleries." Arts. (Novem- 
ber, 1957), 55. 

"Exhibition at Nordness." Art News. 
(April, 1960), 16. 

"Exhibition at Nordness." Arts. (April 
1960), 64. 



Selected Books and 
General References 



Arte Contemporanea Norteamericana. 
New York:'Museum of Modern Art, 
1941. 

Baur, John I, H. Revolution and 
Tradition in Modern American Art. 
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard 
University Press, 1959. 

Beard, Charles A. and Mary R. America 
in Midpassage. New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1939. 

Benezit, Emmanuel. Dictionnaire 
Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, 
Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. 
Paris: Grund, 1949. 

Biddle, George. Artist at War. New 
York: 1944. 

Cahill, Holger. New Horizons in 
American Art. New York: Museum of 
Modern Art, 1939. 

Cheney, Sheldon. Expressionism in Art. 
New York: Boni and Liveright, 1934. 

Clapp, Jane. Art in Life. New York: 
Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1959. 

Cummings, Paul. Dictionary of 
Contemporary American Artists. New 
York: St. Martin's Press, 1966. 



Fabre, Michel. The Unfinished Quest 
of Richard Wright. New York: William 
Morrow and Company, 1973. 

Goodrich, Lloyd and Baur, John I .H. 
American Art of Our Century. New 
York: Whitney Museum of American 
Art, 1961. 

Halpert, Edith Gregor. The Downtown 
Gallery. New York: The Downtown 
Gallery, 1943. 

Havlice, Patricia Pate. Art in Time. 
Metuchen, New Jersey: The Scarecrow 
Press, Inc., 1970. 

History of the Fifth Army. (Illustrations 
by Mitchell Siporin and others), 10 
volumes. Florence and Milan: United 
States Fifth Army, 1944-45. 

Larkin, Oliver W. Art and Life in 
America. New York: Holt, Rhinehart 
and Winston, 1966. 

Miller, Dorothy C. (ed.) Americans 
1942: Artists from Nine States. New 
York: Museum of Modern Art, 1942. 

Nordness, Lee (ed.) Art: USA: Now, 2 
volumes. Lucerne: C. J. Bucher, 1962. 

O'Connor, Francis V. The New Deal Art 
Projects: An Anthology of Memoirs. 
Washington, District of Columbia: 
Smithsonian Institution Press, 1972. 



Pagano, Grace. The Encyclopedia 
Britannica Collection of Contemporary 
American Painting. Chicago: 
Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 1946. 

Pitz, Henry C. Pen, Brush and Ink. 
New York: Watson-Guptill, 1949. 

Pousette-Dart, Nathaniel (ed.) 
American Painting Today. New York: 
Hastings House, 1956. 

Slatkin, Charles and Schoolman, Regina. 
Treasury of American Drawings. New 
York: Oxford University Press, 1947. 

Vollmer, Hans (ed.) Kunstler Lexicon 
der XX Jahrhunderts. Leipzig: 
E. S. Seeman, 1907-50, 1965. 

Watson, Forbes. American Painting 
Today. Washington, District of 
Columbia: American Federation of the 
Arts, 1939. 

. Art in Federal Buildings. New 

York: 1942. 

Wight, Frederick S. Milestones of 
American Painting in Our Century. New 
York: Chanticleer Press, 1949. 

Zigrosser, Carl. Book of Fine Prints. 
New York: Crown Publishers, 1937. 



Catalogue of 
the Exhibition 



The Stool Pigeons: Mr. and Mrs. William 

Seliger, from the "Haymarket Series," 

1934 

pen and ink 

21% x 14W 

Lent by the Whitney Museum of 

American Art, New York, New York; 

Anonymous Gift 

2 

August Spies Speaking From a Wagon, 

from the "Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23y 2 x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

3 

Horse Car Strike, from the "Haymarket 

Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

4 

Raid on Vorwarts - Turnerhall, from 

the "Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

5 
"In the Name of the State of Illinois, 

I Command You to Disperse," from the 
"Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

6 

On the Haymarket, from the 
"Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

7 

Dedication of Monument to Matthais J. 

Degan, from the "Haymarket Series," 

1934 

pen and ink 

23y 2 x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

8 

Death of Victor Hugo, from the 
"Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23V2 x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 



Cyrus McCormic and Terence Powderly, 

from the "Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

10 

Babes in Toyland, from the "Haymarket 

Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

11 

The Gallows: Spies, Engel, Fischer and 

Parsons, from the "Haymarket Series," 

1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

12 

Violence at the Monument, from the 
"Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

13 

Altgeld and Lincoln, from the 
"Haymarket Series," 1934 

pen and ink 

23% x 17" 

Collection of the Artist 

14 

Soldier and Camp Follower, 1936 

casein on illustration board 

30V4 x 22" 

Collection of the Artist 

15 

Veteran's Hospital, illustration for 
"Esquire" magazine, 1936 

pen and ink 

15% x 19%" 

Collection of the Artist 

16 

The Teaching of the Arts: Drama- 
preliminary drawing for fresco murals, 

Lane Technical High School, Chicago, 

Illinois, 1937 

pencil 

15x3%" 

Collection of the Artist 



\ 



17 

The Teaching of the Arts: Painting, 
preliminary drawing for fresco murals, 
Lane Technical High School, Chicago, 
Illinois, 1937 
pencil 

15 x 3%" 

Collection of the Artist 
18 

Charity, 1937 

casein on illustration board 

17% x 22%" 

Collection of the Artist 

19 

Prairie Industry with Corn Blower, 

preliminary drawing for fresco murals, 

Central Lobby, U.S. Post Office, Decatur, 

Illinois, 1938 

pencil 

16y 2 x 26y 2 " 

Collection of the Artist 

20 

Taming the Prairie: The Rail Splitter, 

preliminary drawing for fresco murals, 

Central Lobby, U.S. Post Office, Decatur, 

Illinois, 1938 

pencil 

16 x 26" 

Collection of the Artist 
21 

Homeless, 1939 

oil on canvas 

30 x 36" 

Collection of the Artist 

22 

Fishermen - Acapulco, 1939 

casein on illustration board 

26% x 32%" 

Collection of the Artist 

23 

Mexican Rice Workers, 1939 

gouache 

22%x31" 

Lent by the Smith College Museum of 

Art, Northampton, Massachusetts; 

Gift of Mr. Jere Abbott 

24 

Dream of the Good Life, 1941 

casein on illustration board 

26% x 37%" 

Collection of the Artist 



25 

Earthquake, 1941 
casein on cardboard 
23% x 34" 

Lent by the Whitney Museum of 
American Art, New York, New York 
26 

John Brown Sequence, copy after 
fresco murals, U.S. Post Office, 
St. Louis, Missouri, 1942 
egg tempera on gessoed plywood panel 
23 x 24" 

Collection of the Artist 
27 

Detail, Head, from "John Brown Se- 
quence," copy after fresco murals, U.S. 
Post Office, St. Louis, Missouri, 1942 
egg tempera on gessoed plywood panel 
16 x 20" 

Collection of the Artist 
28 

Detail, Fur Trader and Indian, copy 
after fresco murals, U.S. Post Office, 
St. Louis, Missouri, 1942 
egg tempera on gessoed plywood panel 
14% x 17%" 
Collection of the Artist 
29 

End of an Era, 1946 
oil on canvas 
40 x 52" 

Collection of Dr. Robert Atkins, 
New York, New York 
30 

Endless Voyage, 1946 
oil on canvas 
34y 2 x 39%" 

Lent by the University of Iowa, 
Museum of Art, Iowa City, Iowa 
31 

Winter Soldiers, 1946 
oil on canvas 
36 x 40" 

Collection of the Artist 
32 

Flashback to Carthage, 1946 
casein 
18% x 23%" 

Lent by the Whitney Museum of 
American Art, New York, New York 



\ 



33 

Drawing for "Welcome Home" Exhibi- 
tion Catalogue, the Downtown Gallery, 
New York, New York; portraits, from 
left: 0. Louis Guglielmi, Jack Levine, 
Mitchell Siporin, Jacob Lawrence, 
Ralston Crawford, Ed Lewandowski, 
1946 

pen and ink 
16% x 21%" 
Collection of the Artist 
v 34 

Bivouac, 1946 
pen and ink 
21 x 30" 

Lent by the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard 
University, Cambridge, Massachusetts; 
Gift of Mrs. Edith Gregor Halpert 
35 

Ghost Harbor, 1947 
oil on canvas 
23 x 48" 

Collection of the Artist 
36 

The Prodigal, 1947 
oil on canvas 
15% x liy 2 " 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Fred 
Bienstock, New York, New York 
37 

Mountain Passage, 1947 
oil on canvas 
34y 2 x 28y 2 " 

Lent by the DeCordova and Dana 
Museum and Park, Lincoln, Massachu- 
setts; Gift of the Stephen and Sybil 
Stone Foundation 
38 

Around the Fountain, 1947 
gouache 
28 x 21" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 
Auerbach, Boston, Massachusetts 
39 

Joy Ride, 1948 
oil on canvas 
60 x 40" 

Collection of the Artist 
40 

The Doll, 1948 
oil on canvas 
40 x 30" 
Collection of the Artist 



\ 



41 

Twilight on Upper Broadway, 1948 
oil on canvas 
24 x 30" 

Collection of Miriam Siporin 
•42 

Saturday Night, 1948 
oil on canvas 
14 x 18" 

Collection of Mrs. Helen Sagoff Slosberg, 
Boston, Massachusetts 
43 

Hamlet by the Jukebox, 1948 
oil on canvas 
16 x 12" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence 
Thompson, Lincoln, Massachusetts 
44 

Promenade, 1948 
pen and ink 
19 x 25%" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harold 
Rubenstein, Brockton, Massachusetts 
45 

Landscape with Lime Kiln, 1949 
oil on canvas 
30 x 40" 

Collection of Rachel Siporin 
46 

Moonlight Over Myrtle, 1949 
oil on canvas 
24 x 30" 

Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 
New York, New York; Arthur H. Hearn 
Fund, 1950 
47 

Dancers by the Clock, 1949 
oil on canvas 
40y 2 x 60y 8 " 

Lent by the Whitney Museum of 
American Art, New York, New York 
48 

Aging Actress, 1949 
oil on canvas 
29y 4 x 231/4" 

Collection of Dr. Robert Atkins, 
New York, New York 
49 

The Steel Puddlers, 1949 
casein 
17V4 x 22%" 
Collection of the Artist 



\ 



V 



50 

Refreshment in Flatbush, 1949 
pen and ink 
17y 2 x 23y4" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 
Auerbach, Boston, Massachusetts 
51 

Festa in Trastevere, 1950 
oil on canvas 
31% x 39Va" 

Brandeis University Art Collection, Rose 
Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts; 
Gift of James N. Rosenberg, Scarsdale, 
New York 
52 

St/7/ Life, 1951 
oil on canvas 
12x16" 

Collection of the Artist 
53 

Display, 1951 
oil on masonite panel 
8 x 12" 

Lent by the Brockton Art Center - 
Fuller Memorial, Brockton, Massachu- 
setts; Gift of Stephen and Sybil Stone 
54 

Parade in Anticoli, 1951 
oil on canvas 
50 x 70" 

Brandeis University Art Collection, Rose 
Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts; 
Gift of Mrs. Helen Sagoff Slosberg 
55 

Untitled, 1951 
oil on canvas 
24 x 30" 

Private Collection 
56 

Marketplace, 1952 
oil on canvas 
40 x 60" 

Collection of the Artist 
57 

The Battle I, 1952 
pen and ink 
22%x31" 
Collection of the Artist 



\ 



58 

Merchant of Venice, 1952 

watercolor 

16% x 18%" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harold S. 

Shapero, Natick, Massachusetts 

59 

Girls of Cereveteri, c. 1952 

oil on paper 

16V2 x 21" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Fred 

Bienstock, New York, New York 

60 

Synagogue, 1953 

oil on canvas 

Collection of the Artist 

61 

Medieval Hardware, 1953 

casein 

17V2 x 20%" 

Collection of the Artist 

62 

The Battle II, 1953 

pen and ink 

22% x 31" 

Collection of the Artist 

63 

Supermarket, 1954 

oil on canvas 

30 x 40" 

Collection of the Artist 

64 

The Bar, 1954 

oil on canvas 

30 x 36" 

Collection of the Artist 

65 

Rendezvous, 1954 

oil on canvas 

42 x 32" 

Collection of the Artist 

66 

Exhibition, 1954 

oil on canvas 

30 x 24" 

Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Leon 

Ginsburg, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 



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\ 



\ 



67 

Academic Festival, 1954 
watercolor 
21 x 29" 

Collection of the Artist 
.68 

Rockport Beach Scene, 1955 
oil on canvas 
24% x 30%" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence 
Thompson, Lincoln, Massachusetts 
69 

Small Promenade, 1955 
oil on canvas mounted on board 
13% x 16%" 
Collection of the Artist 
70 

The Performers, 1955 
watercolor 
21% x 29%" 

Brandeis University Art Collection, 
Rose Art Museum, Waltham, 
Massachusetts 
71 

Design for Ark Curtain. Berlin Chapel, 
Brandeis University, 1956 (tapestry 
woven by Helen Kroll Kramer) 
gouache and colored inks on illustration 
board 

22% x 23>/2" 
Collection of the Artist 
72 

The Denial, from the series, "Imaginary 
Interviews," 1957 
watercolor 
37 x 24'/ 2 " 

Lent by the DeCordova and Dana 
Museum and Park, Lincoln, 
Massachusetts; Gift of the Stephen 
and Sybil Stone Foundation 
73 

Picture Dealers, from the series, 
'Imaginary Interviews," 1957 
watercolor 
22% x 30" 

Collection of Mr. Louis R. Glaser, 
Providence, Rhode Island 
74 

The Shakespeareans, 1957-58 
oil on canvas 
24 x 16" 
Collection of the Artist 



\ 



75 

Nude Reflecting, 1957-58 
oil on canvas 
18 x 12" 

Collection of the Artist 
76 

Rachel and Judith, 1958 
oil on canvas 
36 x 24" 

Collection of the Artist 
77 

Homage to Pissarro, 1958 
watercolor and ink 
28 x 40" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. David G. 
Stone, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 
78 

Man and Nature, from the series, 
"Monet in His Garden," 1959-60 
watercolor 
25 x 38V2" 

Collection of Mrs. Helen Sagoff 
Slosberg, Boston, Massachusetts 
79 

In the Birches, from the series, "Monet 
in His Garden," 1959-60 
watercolor 
25V 2 x 38%" 
Collection of the Artist 
80 

From the Japanese Bridge, from the 
series, "Monet in His Garden," 1959-60 
watercolor 
25V2 x 38%" 
Collection of the Artist 
81 

Reflection in the Lily Pond, from the 
series, "Monet in His Garden," 1959-60 
watercolor 
25V2 x 38%" 
Collection of the Artist 
82 

The Lovers, 1960 
oil and magna on gessoed panel 
16 x 20" 

Collection of the Artist 
83 

Busy Day in the Atelier, 1960 
pen and ink 
18'/2 x 23" 
Collection of the Artist 



\ 



84 

Adolescence, 1960 

pen and ink 

18% x 10%" 

Collection of the Artist 

85 

Late Show, 1961 

watercolor 

21 x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

86 

Harbor City. 1961-62 

watercolor 

25V 2 x 38%" 

Collection of the Artist 

87 

Judith, from the series, "Rembrandt 

and His Models," 1961-62 

watercolor 

25V 2 x 38%" 

Collection of the Artist 

88 

The Golden Angel, from the series, 
"Rembrandt and His Models," 1961-62 

watercolor 

38% x 25y2" 

Collection of the Artist 

89 

Venus and Mars, from the series, 
"Rembrandt and His Models," 1961-62 

watercolor 

38% x 25y 2 " 

Collection of the Artist 

90 

Death and the Maiden, 1962 

oil on canvas 

60 x 40" 

Lent by the National Collection of 

Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, 

Washington, D.C.; Gift of S. C. Johnson 

and Son, Inc. 

91 

Untitled, c. 1965 

watercolor 

16 x6%" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 

Auerbach, Boston, Massachusetts 



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V 



V 



92 

Landscape #11, c. 1965 

watercolor 

17V2 x 20%" 

Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Saul G. 

Cohen, Belmont, Massachusetts 

93 

Rachel and Judith in the Forum, 

1966-67 

oil on canvas 

38% x 51" 

Collection of the Artist 

94 

Aerial Landscape, 1966-67 

oil on canvas 

30 x 18" 

Collection of Mrs. Helen Sagoff 

Slosberg, Boston, Massachusetts 

95 

Untitled, 1966-67 

oil on canvas 

20 ] /2 x 27%" 

Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Harold 

Rubenstein, Brockton, Massachusetts 

96 

Fleamarket, from the series, "Porta 

Portese," 1966-67 

acrylic 

27 x 39" 

Collection of the Artist 

97 

Hassid Washing His Feet in the Roman 

Fountain, from the series, "Porta 

Portese," 1966-67 

watercolor and acrylic 

27 x 39" 

Collection of the Artist 

98 

Hassid Under the Arch of Titus, from 

the series, "Porta Portese," 1966-67 

watercolor 

26 x 39" 

Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Saul G. 

Cohen, Belmont, Massachusetts 

99 

G/ass, from the series, "Porta Portese," 

1967 

acrylic 

27V 2 x 39y 2 " 

Lent by the Worcester Art Museum, 

Worcester, Massachusetts; Gift of 

Mrs. Helen Sagoff Slosberg 



100 

Judith, 1969 
oil on canvas 
16 x 12" 

Collection of Judith Siporin 
101 

May Mid-day Landscape, 1969 
watercolor 
16% x 19" 

Collection of the Artist 
102 

Dear/7 and the Maiden, 1970-71 
oil on canvas 
44 x 24y 8 " 

Collection of the Artist 
103 
' Doris Brewer Cohen, 1971 
oil on canvas 
40 x 30" 

Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Saul G. 
Cohen, Belmont, Massachusetts 
104 

Cambridge Common, 1971 
watercolor 
22>/4 x 30y 4 " 
Collection of the Artist 
105 

Landscape - Cape Cod, 1971 
watercolor 
21 x29V4" 

Collection of the Artist 
106 

Blue Landscape, 1972 
oil on canvas 
40 x 60" 

Collection of the Artist 
107 

Boy in Garden, 1972-73 
oil on canvas 
40 x 60" 

Collection of the Artist 
108 

Agony in the Garden, 1973 
oil on canvas 
50 x 40" 

Collection of the Artist 
109 

Plaza Insurgentes, 1974 
watercolor 
22y 2 x 30" 
Collection of the Artist 



110 

Dear/7 of the Sun - Palacio de Bellas 

Artes, 1974 

watercolor 

22M. x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

111 

Landscape to Taxco, 1974 

watercolor 

22% x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

112 

Homage to Frederick Catherwood, 

1974 

watercolor 

22y 2 x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

113 

Outside the Church - San Sebastiano 

de Chimalstoc, 1974 

watercolor 

22y 2 x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

114 

Diego Rivera and His Demons - 

Anahuacalli, 1974 

watercolor 

22y 2 x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

115 

Health and Happiness - Avenida San 

Juan de Latran, 1974 

watercolor 

22'/ 2 x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

116 

Assault on the Presidential Palace, 197 A 

watercolor 

22y 2 x 30" 

Collection of the Artist 

117 

New England Landscape, 1975 

oil on canvas 

28 x 38" 

Collection of the Artist 

118 

Closing Time at the Prado, 1975 

oil on canvas 

45 x 31" 

Collection of the Artist 



119 

Yehuda-Ha-Levi on the Shores of Spain, 

1958-59/1975 

oil on canvas 

39 x 42" 

Collection of the Artist 

120 

Winter Landscape, 1976 

oil on canvas 

60 x 29%" 

Collection of the Artist 

121 

Miriam, 1976 

oil on canvas 

26y s x 22'A" 

Collection of Miriam Siporin 

122 

April Landscape, 1976 

oil on canvas 

42 x 34" 

Collection of the Artist 

123 

Small Landscape I, 1976 

oil on canvas 

16 x 12" 

Collection of the Artist 

124 

Small Landscape II, 1976 

oil on canvas 

12 x 16" 

Collection of the Artist 

125 

Small Landscape III. 1976 

oil on canvas 

12 x 16" 

Collection of the Artist 

126 

Small Landscape IV, 1976 

oil on canvas 

16 x 12" 

Collection of the Artist 

127 

Small Landscape V, 1976 

oil on gessoed panel 

10 x 14" 

Collection of the Artist 

128 

Abduction of the Yanqui Consul, 1976 

watercolor 

14 x 20" 

Collection of the Artist 



Staff of the Rose Art Museum: 
Carl Belz, Director 
Marjorie Groggins, Registrar 
Kathe Tuttman, Staff Assistant 
Walter Soule, Superintendent 

Photographic Credits: 
Barney Burstein, Boston, Massachusetts: 
nos. 29, 30, 47, 90, 106, 107, 110, 118 
Colten and Siegler, New York, New York: no. 21 
Olive Baker, New York, New York: nos. 31, 
35, 39,73, 81, 89 

This catalogue was produced by: 
Logowitz & Moore Design Associates 

Typesetting: Wrightson Typographers 

Printing: Mark-Burton, Inc.